The Last Dictator
by Ned Tony Emeni
Trafford Publishing

"You must do all work in an orderly manner; else you want the wrath of the law."

Paralleling the political instability of Nigeria from 1979 to the near-present, this title tells a story of a country struggling to join the modern world and besieged on all sides by corruption. Starting in 1979, in the aftermath of the first junta, presidential candidates Obami Awonowo and Alhaji Musa Agari are vying for control of Nigeria in an era of new democracy. However, when Agari wins he does so thanks to backroom deals by his party with a local mafia, and despite his intentions, his presidency is marred by corruption and fraud. 2.8 billion Nigerian Naira are missing from oil sales, and no one seems to be accountable for it. This corruption leads to a coup d'├ętat which promises progress for Nigeria, but the decades to come prove to be difficult for the volatile African Republic.

For a nation whose 20th century history is so complicated, it's only fitting that the book begins with a declaration that the book is work of nonfiction, but that the characters, dialogue, and events are of the author's own creation. Regardless, the parallels between the events of the book and the last 35 years of government unrest and turmoil in Nigeria are easy to identify. At the heart of this book is a drawn out political intrigue of a government and a people battling to remove itself from the influence of criminals and revolutionaries who are determined to run the country to their own designs. The long generational details and broad narrative can be challenging to readers looking for fast action, but the combination of history and fiction is both enlightening and entertaining.

Return to USR Home